Trial Of Former QWest Exec Set To Begin

A five- to six-week trial for former Qwest Senior Vice President Marc Weisberg is set to start next week on charges that he improperly earned nearly $3 million for himself, family members and friends by demanding that vendors offer them stock in return for doing business with Qwest.

The hearing comes about a week after former Qwest CEO Joseph Nacchio was indicted on 42 counts of insider trading. Prosecutors say their investigation into the Denver telecom company is substantially complete, but the Securities and Exchange Commission is still pursuing a civil lawsuit against Nacchio and other former Qwest executives stemming from an accounting scandal.

Weisberg was indicted last February on eight counts of wire fraud and three counts of money laundering. The government is seeking forfeiture of the $2.9 million dollars he allegedly made.

Each wire fraud count carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a fine of $250,000. The money laundering counts each carry a maximum penalty of twenty years in prison and a fine of $250,000.